Tulfo calls for lifestyle check on DENR execs: I have proof vs erring officials
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday asked the leadership of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for an investigation and lifestyle check of its people, claiming he has evidence against some of its erring officials.
Using no less than blunt language, Tulfo accused these unnamed erring officials of allegedly colluding with illegal miners.
The senator raised these claims as the Senate was discussing next year’s DENR budget. In response, the chamber suspended its rules to allow Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to answer his questions.
“Marami po dyang mga USec (Undersecretary) na panahon pa ng dinosaur nandyan na po sa pwesto. Pwede ho ba pakiimbestigahan yang mga Usec na yan at sa tinagal-tagal nila ay mukhang nagkakaroon na sila ng dementia, hindi na po nila nagagawa yung tamang trabaho nila,” Tulfo initially said.
(Many undersecretaries have long been holding their posts. Can we investigate these undersecretaries who may have been there for a long time and already developed dementia because they could no longer do their job correctly.)
“Maybe its about time na ma-assess nyo kung sino-sino yang mga Usec na yan na pagkatagal tagal ng panahon nandyan pa rin. Siguro it’s about time na i reassess nyo po yung mga position dyan sa DENR…” he said.
(Maybe it’s about time you reassess those undersecretaries who have been there for a long time. It’s about time you reassess the posts there at the DENR.)
In response, Yulo-Loyzaga assured the senator that the DENR is forming a team with the same vision, integrity, and commitment.
Tulfo, however, was unsatisfied with her reply.
“I don’t think so, ma’am, sorry. You can’t talk about the integrity of some of the people in your department. I have right now, I’m not gonna mention names, I have with me proof to show you na marami kang mga tiwaling tauhan dyan sa loob ng DENR (that you have erring people inside the DENR),” he said .
“Kaya nga po yung mga nasa paligid mo na Usec, kinakailangan po ire-asses nyo po sila. Kailangan po siguro gumawa kayo ng lifestyle check tungkol sa mga buhay-buhay nila, kung sino sila. You have really to assess who they are.”
(That’s why you need to reassess the people around you. Maybe you need to conduct a lifestyle check of your people. You have really to assess who they are.)
“Marami po sa inyo dyan sa mga tauhan ninyo ay nakikipagsabwatan po sa mga illegal miners. Alam nyo po ba yan? Dont tell me na hindi nyo po alam? Dont tell me hindi nakakarating sa inyo ang ganung klaseng impormasyon? Marami po dyan,” the senator said.
(Many of your people are conspiring with illegal miners. Do you know that? Don’t tell me you did not know? Don’t tell me you didn’t receive that kind of information?)
Tulfo then looked around the session hall and claimed he spotted at least one erring official seated in the hearing room.
“Hindi ko po tinitingnan nyo mga kasamahan nyo, pero may nakikita po akong tauhan nyo dyan na tiwali at kasama po, kasabwat po ng illegal miners,” he said. “I’m not looking at them right now, pero tingnan nyo po sa likod nyo kung sino sino po ang mga kasama nyo. Patanggal nyo po ang facemask, baka mas makikita nyo po ng mabuti.”
(I’m not looking at your companions but I see one erring official with you who conspires with illegal miners. I’m not looking at them right now but look behind you, your companions. Ask them to remove their mask so you can see them better.)
Noting that DENR is known as “one of the most corrupt departments” of government, Tulfo then suggested cleaning its own backyard first, starting from those holding sensitive positions like undersecretaries and assistant secretaries.
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